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Sainsbury's sales get Jubilee boost
LONDON, June 13 |
LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) - J Sainsbury, Britain's third-largest supermarket group, posted a rise in first-quarter sales, with its performance boosted by shoppers loosening the purse strings to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
The firm, which lags Wal-Mart Store Inc's Asda and industry leader Tesco by market share, said on Wednesday it outperformed the market and it was well placed to continue to do so, despite expecting the market to remain competitive.
Sainsbury's said sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel, rose 1.4 percent in the 12 weeks to June 9.
Although that fell within analyst forecasts of growth of 1 to 2.25 percent, according to a Reuters poll of seven, it represents a slowdown from growth of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of the 2011-12 year.
Sainsbury's performance looks good relative to Tesco, which on Monday posted a 1.5 percent fall in first-quarter underlying sales. However, that is partly explained by Tesco's first-quarter period not including the Jubilee holiday.
Sainsbury's overall UK sales rose 3.6 percent.
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